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I still think you're having fun at my expense. :(

No, I didn't change anything. I assume the html you inserted in your comment did the trick. Maybe the key is to insert multiple closing tags.

I'm still seeing the italics, people!

Michael, maybe you should

1. Keep this blog up.

2. Export all your posts from typepad

3. Put a new Wordpress blog up on your site (e.g., blog.michaelprescott.com)

4. ???

5. PROFIT!

But seriously, you could keep this typepad site up for the legacy hits and just redirect people to your new blog. That would also generate more traffic to your main site. Just $0.02.

It's a thought. Matt. Sounds like a lot of work, though. And as I have said many times, I am a lazy, lazy man.

I don't see the italics anymore.

Michael,

Uhn huhn, like all those lazy posts you write for your blog--full of lazy reading and research. :)

I still get the italics. May be a Firefox thing.

Matt, FYI, I did a post about my childhood NDE on my blog today. I'll post something about the adult NDE in a few days.

I should point out that Matt and I just traded cartoon quips. His multi-step plan for PROFIT! comes from a South Park episode in which gnomes are stealing children's underpants to carry out this business plan:

Step 1. Collect underpants.
Step 2. ?
Step 3. PROFIT

My "lazy, lazy man" line is stolen from The Simpsons, specifically the episode titled The itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show.

Roger Myers Jr.: Hey, Krusty, you look great. You get your teeth bleached?

Krusty: Yeah, it's a new kind of polymer treatment... HEY, SHUT UP! You're here 'cause your Itchy & Scratchy cartoons are stinking up my ratings! [points to a ratings chart] Look at this breakdown of yesterday's show!

Roger Myers Jr.: What happened here? Lightning hit the transmitter?

Krusty: See, that what I thought at first, but then... HEY, SHUT UP! That crater is where your lousy cartoon crash-landed! It's ratings poison!

Roger Myers Jr.: But Itchy & Scratchy is critically acclaimed.

Krusty: ACCLAIMED? PAH! I ought to replace it right now with a Chinese cartoon where robots turn into blingwads! But I'm a lazy, lazy man, Roger. So I'm gonna give you one more chance. Now get out! Don't come back till you've fixed Itchy & Scratchy.

Michael d'you think another way of illustrating your insight would be to view the eternal 'you' as the 'centre' of a 'zoetrope' and the sequence of 'images' on the inner wall of the 'rotating cylinder' variously i) the different 'personalities' you take on during your different lives down the ages ii) the different 'characteristics' you get to try out playing babes through to old men/women during those lives iii) the different life histories you get to experience throughout those lives and iv) the innumerable different abstract perhaps comic strip panel or movie reel frame-like ways your non-eternal 'you''s actions acquire when witnessed from the timeless perspective of your eternal 'you'?

I suspect Plato might've found the image highly intriguing - ditto Don Juan Matus.

And although I'm not particularly comfortable with it as model myself I have to admit since my childhood I've undergone experiences where the world's indeed taken on precisely the sort of characteristics implied by category iv.

Once a thing is put into words it is wrong because then we are just juggling labels. You are on the right course however by moving up to the level of symbols. There are levels above that too but we cannot (literally "cannot") speak of them.

Beautiful post.
This comes a bit as a synchronicity because I am reading a fascinating book about dimensions that bridges physics and metaphysics.

I would highly recommend anyone interested in the subject of dimensions to take a look at this great book and related video blog by Rob Bryanton:
"Imagining the tenth dimension":
http://www.amazon.com/Imagining-Tenth-Dimension-Thinking-About/dp/1425167047

Don't pay too much attention to the ratings, many people expected a physics books and gave a low rating, but this book is much more than a technical treatise.

But before take a look at these videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkxieS-6WuA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySBaYMESb8o
And this one, on how time could work:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D4swzK4sKk

Cheers

Michael,

The funny thing is that I didn't catch your reference and hadn't intended an exchange of that type; but it was probably a bit of unconscious psi at work between us.

Or just yer average everyday coinkidink.

Time measures intervals - not sequence. There may be no interval between A and B, yet B may still follow A.

Michael,

Or both!

Re: Nature of time in physics.

Nobody knows. Physics knows some apparent characteristics of time -- which is quite a bit richer in Special Relativity than in Newtonian physics -- but not really its nature. In physics it serves as a backdrop, an undefined primitive, so to speak.

The basic laws of physics as they are understood (Newtonian, Relativistic and Quantum) are temporally symmetric -- they are the same equations forward and backward. There is a lot of literature on how the "arrow of time" arises from the two-headed arrow of the laws of physics. Most of the proposed answers boil down to the conditions in the past being different from the conditions in the future (how and sometimes why being the differences in the theories) resulting in the past being different from the future. If the conditions were reversed (in some sense) then what we call the past would be the future and vice versa, and we would be wondering why the past(which we would presumably call the future) is undetermined while the future (which we would call the past) is determined.

Its like water flowing from higher to lower -- what direction is upstream and what is downstream is determined by which direction has ground higher than the other.

One common way of representing Special Relativity has time differing from space in that the time dimension is represented by an imaginary number rather than a real. However, it is important to recognize that in SR, what is a change in time and what is a change in space is a matter of ones frame of view. While you might say that two events occur at such-and-such a distance from each other after such-and-such a time interval, I (moving relative to you -- or vice versa) would have different, equally valid, judgements of these. If each combine the two distances into a distance in "space-time", though, we would agree completely. Its as if we were facing in different directions and disagreed, therefore at to how far something is from something else in the "forward" direction and in the "backward" direction, but we would agree about how far apart they were overall.

In Quantum Loop Theory (an alternative to the better known "String Theory"), neither space nor time is fundamental, but both are consequences of something else (a fabric of loops like chain mail), that blurs into apparent space and time at large enough distances.

And while there is lots of questions about free will, timelessness doesn't contradict its existence. Whatever free will is, we have it at the "present" -- that is precisely where the freedom exists: we cannot (apparently) choose the past, and right now, we have no say about future choices (though our present choices can affect what choices are available to us in the future). But from a timeless perspective, all of what we perceive of as time is in the present (also in the past and in the future but its "presentness" is what matters here), so we are making all the free choices "now." We decide our whole course "at once," -- breaking this into a sequence of distinct choices is simply a restricted view of this singular thing ("Time is Nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once.")

Topher

hmm, interesting way to look at time

Boggles is an understatement! Very good post, it definitely got my mental muscles a-flexin'! I'll send a link to this post in my blog and make my readers crazy too :-)

I said:

Its as if we were facing in different directions and disagreed, therefore at to how far something is from something else in the "forward" direction and in the "backward" direction, but we would agree about how far apart they were overall.

but I've had it pointed out that there is a typo. I meant to say:

... and in the "leftward" direction ...

hey what you guys are discussing about sounds so much like Buddhism. In Buddhism there are 7 realms or plane of existence. As you purify yourself spiritually through many reincarnations, you move up, but you can come down too.

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